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Alverix's handheld device poised to revolutionize point-of-care testing

by Barbara Kram, Editor | July 29, 2010

"In the U.S., health care reform calls for a reduction in cost of diagnostic testing. One of the biggest problems with doing diagnostic testing in a central laboratory is the cost associated with getting the sample to the lab, the overhead costs, instrumentation, and labor," Tarbox said. "Even though the cost per unit for home use is higher than buying core lab tests in volume, the fact that you don't have all the labor and overhead associated with POC testing reduces the total cost of delivery. So that alone is a major part of the opportunity for this segment of the market to grow. Also, the convenience and patients' desire to take control of their own health by testing themselves."

The applications seem endless such as tests for infectious disease, cardiac markers like cholesterol and lipids, clotting risk factors, upper respiratory diseases, hemoglobin, and other areas where intervention can be informed by timely testing, as well as in pathology and many other specialties.

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Manufacturing for Alverix is being done in Malaysia and electronic and imaging components for the device are sourced throughout Asia.

Compared to the competition, Alverix's device is a fully functioning imaging system in the palm of the user's hand, promising an unprecedented level of accuracy from a small device.

"We believe we can get performance from our instrument that is equivalent to any bench-top POC diagnostic instrument today," Tarbox said. "We continue to work with our partners including assay makers to optimize performance of the device and drive down cost of POC testing."

Alverix was once part of Hewlett Packard and later spun off from Agilent/Avago in 2007. Chief Technology Officer Tong Xie and his team include mechanical and electrical engineers, and software developers.

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